Sunday, March 19, 2017

Exeter Village Board Discusses Water Rates

The Exeter Village Board approved minutes and invoices to begin their meeting on Wednesday, March 8.  

Up first on the agenda was a review of the library report which was satisfactory to the village board members.

Next, the board continued their discussion on water and sewer rates in the village.  Board member Mitch Schlegelmilch reviewed the rates in towns roughly the same population as Exeter and found that Exeter rates are well below other towns.

“The monthly fees for water service range from $7 to $36 and the average is $21.  At $17 we are $5 below average comparing 55 towns in Nebraska,” reported Schlegelmilch.

Michl noted that, “Some, with the lowest monthly fee have the highest per gallon rate.  They are trying to get their people to conserve water.”

Michl asked clerk Becky Erdkamp, ”What has our shortfall on the water side been lately?”

She noted that the village is consistently about $6500 short per year and the sewer usually breaks even.  In a previous meeting she reminded the board that state statute requires that the sewer and water programs pay for themselves.

Schlegelmilch suggested that the village increase the rates, but not as much as the Rural Water Board recommended.

Clerk Erdkamp noted the last increase, in December of 2012 was an 11% increase.

Schlegelmilch continued, “If we took my suggestions we would still be $3.38 less than average (on water fees) of all 55 towns .This gets us closer to the average but still less. It would gain us to within 3000.00 on our shortfall if we maintain our costs the way we are.”

Wilbeck agreed, “I think it looks good, too, but we will always have the same people who will complain.”

“We are losing money, we have to at least break even,” Michl commented.

Schlegelmilch added, ”I have a sprinkler system at home and like to have a green yard but I don’t want to go broke on water rates.  I figured if I water three times a week in a month it will cost me $9 more with the increase we have suggested.”

Maintenance Supervisor John Mueller reminded the board that there is a strong possibility that they will have to install new water meters in the next ten years.

The board also discussed setting a rate for bulk water as there have been several construction companies inquiring about the cost as they prepare for local road construction.
The board made no firm decision on water rates.

The board voted to pass Ordinance 585 which repealed Ordinance 522.  This will reopen part of Cheyenne street which is the block adjacent to the football field.  The board accepted the property deeds last month and with the approval of the ordinance the street can be reopened.

The board set the Exeter clean up dumpster date for April 22 from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. or until full
Mueller gave his report noting that a street light by the former trailer park was shot out by a high powered rifle.  “I talked to Perennial and we are not going to put a light back up since it’s been shot out four times and the cost to replace it would be very high.”

Mueller noted that the diving board stands at the pool will either need to be replaced or powder coated because they have rusted.  He is also going to check on a price for replacing them with stainless steel. 

Several other minor maintenance issues were discussed including rock for the ball field parking lot and a street sign which needs to be replaced by the school.

Clerk Erdkamp shared with the board that the December sales tax was $13,641.47 and January Keno was $523.57.

Michl observed that one of the neglected homes in Exeter just a block off of main street is being taken care of now and asked the board members to bring a list of five more that need cleaned up to the next meeting.  The board set the next meeting for April 4 at 7 p.m.

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